Winter Feedingby Ryan Davis on 11/04/15
Total Team Roping
This month we thought we would jump to a different section for this article and head down the path of feeding your equine partner. With Total Equine as a proud sponsor of Total Team Roping, we headed towards the source and the man behind the feed that so many of today’s top rodeo athletes are feeding their horses. Dr. Barry Anderson developed Total Equine Feed after 20 years of studying and feeding horses a properly nutrient diet. Total Equine feed ensures that the horse receives specific ingredients that they need to maximize health, attitude and performance.
We caught up to Dr. Anderson with a question that horse owners should be asking themselves around this time of year. He was happy to answer the question to: “As winter approaches, what, if anything should horse owners do to their feeding program?”
“There are several things horse owners should consider and prepare for throughout the winter months,” said Anderson. “To begin have your hay tested before winter. Knowing the nutrients in your forage will help you set up a feeding program. You may need to alter your feeding and knowing this can also save you money.”
Anderson went on to talk about another very important factor when it comes to feeding horses throughout the winter.
“You want to make sure to winterize your water supply and avoid any interruptions. If your horse has a restricted water intake they will not consume their feed properly and this may cut back on the energy they need throughout the winter months. If horses have access to clean, fresh water they will eat and forage better, providing them the energy they need.”
Reaching into a more in depth approach to feeding horses in the winter, Anderson continued.
“You need to limit the amount of starchy feed to your horses throughout the winter. Create a feeding program that helps the horse digest hay. You want to receive the maximum amount of fermentation in order for the horse to provide body heat. Fiber from hay will fermentation much better than starchy feeds.”
Anderson also included that horse owners should begin a proper feeding program prior to the winter months in order to prepare the horse for the colder weather.
“Provide quality feed that will help your horse grow a good winter coat. Long shaggy hair is not ideal and a horse should have a good, condense, thick coat of hair for the winter.”
Anderson also added.
“While on the subject, I also want to talk about something that is somewhat controversial. That is the use of blankets on horses in the winter. It is important that you only blanket a horse during the most extreme winter conditions or when hauling them in the winter. Always remove the blankets in the day. Leaving a horse blanketed for long periods of time will discourage hair growth and the quality of hair the horse will grow.”
We want to thank Dr. Harry Anderson for his insight on preparing horses for the winter months and feeding tips when the weather turns cold. Be sure to check out TotalTeamRoping.com throughout the winter. It is a great time to pick up a lot of tips and tricks you can take to the practice pen and use at the next event. Be sure to also check out The Roping Pen Website and get a great deal on a Totalteamroping.com membership. For only $19.95 you can receive a limited TTR membership and check out what many other ropers are watching.